Robson’s sculptures certainly manage to get that message across. Using anything from detergent bottles to industrial laundry barrels to highway safety drums — all lovingly cleaned, and transformed into raw materials — she creates giant sculptures like Kuleana, a stark-white work that seems to grow from the Earth, and Ding Dang, a mesmerizing installation currently on display at Goucher College in Baltimore, and smaller, playful sculptures like Synesthesia and Hotrodicus which manage to remain lighthearted despite the heavy message their materials convey.

Learn more about Aurora Robson’s work at aurorarobson.com

Over the course of Robson’s career, plastic has only become more ubiquitous. Confronting all this waste can be taxing. Which is part of why, in 2009, Robson formed Project Vortex, a collective of artists, designers, and architects working with plastic debris, or as she describes it, “a support network for other artists” tackling plastic pollution.

Robson also finds some peace in the process of collecting plastic materials from others, easing the burden of their waste, and keeping some small amount of plastic out of our landfills.

“Most people are living in the tyranny of the moment,” she says. “They don’t have the time or the money to have a zero-waste lifestyle … I love the idea of helping facilitate that in my own little way, in my own practice, as much as I can.”